Avalanche @ Canucks, Game 15 Thoughts - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Avalanche @ Canucks, Game 15 Thoughts

Here's a few more thoughts from last night, in no particular order.

Ruslan Salei played his best game of the season last night. I watched him more closely than any other defender as I was getting tired of seeing him underperform. Early in the first it was apparent his positioning was much better. He wasn't allowing players to skate past him while he brushed them on their side with a "check". Tonight, he was stepping in front of them and preventing them from going around him. His head was moving much better tonight as well and he always seemed to be aware of where the nearest Canucks players were.

The McLappy line had a new ingredient last night as Darcy Tucker joined the line while Cody Mcleod found himself on the third line with Tyler Arnason. Tucker ended up spending some time with Hensick including a shift during OT. The weird chemistry those two had in their past two games may be wearing off a bit. It never made much sense to begin with frankly.

If T.J. Hensick gets sent down, everybody sharpen up your pitchforks. Though he didn't get any points tonight - tough to get any in a one-goal game - he still looked good out there. Coach Granato agreed as he played him for 18 minutes which could be a career high for Hensick. Contrast that with the 8:20 Arnason played tonight in his triumphant return after being a healthy scratch.

Ryan Smyth continues to do a great job fighting in the corners and being a pain in the ass for the opposing team. He's currently on pace for a 23 goal, 53 point season which is not spectacular. Someone could certainly argue it's not worth over $7M/season. But his work along the boards is invaluable and if Granato keeps sticking him in front of the net on the PP, more points will come. He did make one bonehead behind-the-back pass in his own zone but I'll forgive him. Just this once.

Early in the first period while the Avs were shelling Roberto Luongo, Ray Ferraro said "This is what a great goalie can do for you when you struggle" Amen, Ray. We saw it from both sides tonight and it was exciting as hell to watch.

Marek Svatos has been awarded the game-tying goal that originally went to Paul Stastny. In the first view I saw, I was elated as it looked like Svatos had scored. But from the "in the net" view, it looked like Svatos had wiffed on it and Stastny put it in. I'll take this decision as I've got Svatos in my pool and he's been underwhelming so far to say the least.

Chris Cuthbert mentioned itsallaboutlappy.com on the air. Now go buy a shirt and support Ronald Macdonald House!

Now, for my main beef with the game tonight. And it's been a beef of mine since the season started. The Avalanche are running a "wide open" offensive style, right? Then why in the world do they do they try and hold hands through the neutral zone?

There were half a dozen occasions where on a breakout, the player on the opposite side of the ice would skate over and actually get in the puck carriers way. What is the deal with that? Are they trying to use the flying V?

I'm getting frustrated watching the puck carrier try to manoeuvre the puck through his teammates skates while heading into the zone so I can't imaging how the puck carrier feels. It makes negative sense to me.

Related Links
Wolski, Svatos deliver in shootout for Avalanche
Avalanche cracks Luongo in shootout


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